1964 Chevrolet C10

Owner : Ralph Kumbier – Parts  : Motown Autoparts – Photos by: Jason Clifton (Clifton Media)

It was about 2 years ago that Ralph Kumbier from Motown Autoparts thought about building a shop truck but he did not really put a lot of effort into finding a suitable vehicle. Ralph has always been a Chevy guy at heart so a Chevy would be the obvious choice. The goal was to build something that stands out and shows off the parts that Motown showcases.

One day, a friend of his came into the shop and said that he had seen an old C10 standing in a yard in Brackenfell, Cape Town. He was not sure the year or model, but Ralph jumped into his car and drove there to meet the owner (who ended up being a mutual friend of a friend). It was a 1964 Chevy C10 and it was perfect. Ralph knew he wanted to bag the truck. The 1964 Chevy was produced after Chevrolet had done away with the older torsion bar-type front suspension and was perfectly suited to what he wanted to build.

At first the owner was a bit hesitant to sell, but Ralph’s determination paid off and eventually a deal was struck. With a copy of the NATIS documents in hand, a copy of guys ID, and an old license disc, an old milk jug in the back and a water cooler, he was on his way back to the shop.Once the truck was at the shop, he took a step back to see what he just got himself into. It was a one owner truck that was originally from a farm in Noupoort and it still had the original black and white CEL number plates on it. 

It was a mostly original but had a bit of rust in all the usual places, but despite this it still oozed character as all “farm trucks” seem to do. The previous owner had cut the coil springs, repaired the exhaust and rebuilt the carb on the original Chevy 3.8l L6. Ralph got hold of Elroy from ES Tech. The goal was to get the truck as low as possible. To achieve this the rear chassis had to be step notched. To make space for the rear the load bin floor had to be removed and moved up. Shorter shocks had to be installed and the coil over springs were replaced with bags.

In the front, the suspension had to be rebuilt, springs were replaced with bags and CPP modular drop spindles where fitted. CPP front disc brake conversion kits were also installed to replace the horrid old drum brakes in the front. Next was the wheels. To match up with the Patina look, he opted for a set of Mobsteel 20” smoothies running20x8 in the front and 20×9 on the back and wrapped in a set of Diamond Back white wall tyres. 

The pick-up started to take shape. It was time for the 2018 George Motor show and he had his sights on taking the truck for a road trip. The motor got a quick service and they were on their way.  Ralph and friend of his made it to Worcester before the truck died. A quick call for a breakdown, the Chevy was picked up on a flatbed and 6 hours later, they were back in Cape Town.

After this failure on the truck’s part, he decided that if he was going to build this truck correctly he might as well go all the way. He went to his good friend Damien Van Zyl from Salt River Customz. They worked out a plan and Damien got started. They began by stripping the entire truck. The cab and load bin were prepped and a couple of coats of matte clear coat were applied.  The inner fenders were removed and a set of switch firewall mount hood hinges installed. 

A new fuel tank was installed and the taillights were converted to USA spec. The differential was stripped, rebuilt with upgraded 30 spline axles, Eaton posi traction and 3.08 gearset. A CPP rear disc brake conversion kit was also installed on the differential.It was out with the old 6 cylinder and in with a 2004 Chevy Vortec LM7 5.3L V8 engine with a mild cam and a TH350C transmission – using the OEM ECU and loom which was flashed and tuned for the cam. 

The old bench seat was rebuilt and the seat and door panels covered with faded leather. A Classic Industries carpet kit was also installed. The dash also got an upgrade with a Classic instruments bomber gauges cluster. For the new auto box a Lokar floor shifter with Knuckle duster was installed. The truck was then sent to Troy for the electrical and a brand new 21 circuit wire harness was installed. Zain from FZ pipeworks fitted a Bosch 044 EFI pump and fuel lines.

After this, the truck was sent to Dirk from Frankensteins for some detail work. Front tubs where made to cover the front wheels in the engine bay to ensure that the wheels had traveling space.  A CA Chassis works Watts four link kit was installed on the back and the bottom end got a new coat of black. The truck was also completely de-chromed with grill and bumpers changing to black. Special brackets and clamps where made to insure the truck has a clean and professional look. Lastly, the Motown logo to the doors by Vega graphics.

In 2019 he finally made it to the George Motor show where the truck pulled some serious attention. As is with all project cars, the list never really seems to end and therefore, there are  few more things he wants to do : power steering rack and pinion conversion is currently under investigation and so are plans to fit AC. The ultimate goal is to fit a Porterbuilt Fab full extreme suspension/crossmember package.

Ralph would like to thank his amazing girlfriend for running around, sourcing bits and support with the build.

Companies utilized during this build:

  • Damien at Salt River Customz
  • Elroy at ES Tech
  • Troy for the electrical 
  • Dirk at Frankensteins
  • Frans at FFD 
  • Adenaan for the interior work
  • Zain for the fuel system at FZ Pipeworks
  • Donovan at Cape Transmissions